Fashion field trip an "amazing" experience

Fashion District street sign.

Student groups from our high school often go on field trips to further their studies. Students on these trips usually pay their own way. Recently, Deborah Strother, who teaches fashion and design at Lake Havasu High School, offered to write something for us after her fashion and design advanced class returned from a trip to Los Angeles. Here is her report.

According to student Travis, "The L.A. trip was amazing!"

Our trip to Los Angeles was very fun and educational. We left Lake Havasu High School at midnight, Thursday, November 8 on a bus that took us to the Needles train station. Everyone slept at least a few hours on the train and we arrived in L.A. at 7:30 a.m.

Regional job interview winners Troy Hudson, Bryce Wilde, and Rey Orth.
Lobby of the California Mart.

We started our tour by taking the subway to Pershing Square then walking to the California Market Center. The California Mart’s web site describes it as:

. . . the hub for the style industries in Los Angeles. As the newest marketplace for fashion, gift & home, the CMC is helping retailers redefine modern merchandising. With more than 1,000 showrooms and nearly 10,000 product lines housed in three 13-story wings there is nowhere else that wholesale buyers can find such a fresh array of goods including women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s wear, fashion accessories, swimwear, footwear, gifts, toys, furniture & décor, textiles, garden accessories, floral, stationery, intimate apparel and personal care products.

As student Alyssa put it, "We were lucky enough to tour the Mart while they were having 'sample sales' and we were able to visit many showrooms." In a few of the showrooms the salesperson took the time to explain to the students what goes on at the Mart, and how designers and manufactures put samples of their garments in these showrooms so buyers can come from all over the world to place orders for their stores.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising was our next stop. FIDM is self described as, "A co-educational, specialized, private college dedicated to educating students for the Fashion, Graphics, Interior Design and Entertainment industries." Before our tour we visited the Scholarship Store. This store sells donated merchandise to raise scholarship money for FIDM students. Our LHHS students were able to buy designer ends (fabric donated to FIDM by local designers) for $1.00 a yard. We then took a tour of the school. Student Jourdann says, "My favorite part of our trip was our visit at FIDM . . . the lady guide made me want to go (to FIDM)." Bianca liked the tour of FIDM “because I can see what opportunities there are in college." Taylor found it "very interesting and educational."

Bridge is tested for load bearing capacity.
Shopping at Michael Levine's was the highlight of the day.

After a quick lunch we finally made it to what Ashley calls, "The best part of the trip . . . Michael Levine's. It is a really big store with a lot to choose from . . . we spent a lot of time there and I found everything I wanted." Levine’s calls itself, "the largest one-stop fabric shop in the Los Angeles garment district."

Annalisa found the trip "a wonderful experience," and liked that on our walk back to Pershing Square "we accidentally walked on to a movie set!" Jamianne documented the trip with over 200 photos. (Some of which you see here.)

We enjoyed a great dinner on Olvera Street then back on the train at 7:00 p.m. for our ride home. Student Shellie sums up the trip to L.A.:

I love being in L.A. it is amazing being in a place where you are surrounded by your interest. My favorite part was going to Michael Levine's. All the fabric is so wonderful; I wish I could have bought everything. I love spending time shopping with friends, thinking about new designs you want to make. I loved being at FIDM because that is where I want to go after high school. I love seeing all of the things I could be doing after high school.

Other photos from the trip. (Click picture for a larger view.)

architectural CAD winners.
Students relax in California Mart lobby.
Board architectural winners.
Salesperson helps Taylor make a choice.
Bridge building winners.
Students browse the fashion books in the bookstore.
Mexhanical board winners
So many books, so little time.
Job interview winners.
Lisa searches for the perfect fabric.
Bridge building winners.
Alyssa and Travis discuss fabrics for their designs.
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